Employees at Girard business learn life-saving technique

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GIRARD, Ohio (WKBN) – Friday is National Wear Red Day, sponsored by the American Heart Association to raise awareness about the top killer of women.

People can have a heart attack at home, work or in a public place. They can die without receiving CPR immediately.

That’s why the Gibson Agency in Girard had CPR training for its employees on Friday.

Employees learned hands-only CPR. It’s an easier, simpler method than the full-blown CPR in which you pinch the person’s nose, lean the head back and do-mouth-to-mouth breaths between chest compressions.

“Mouth-to-mouth is always better, but hands-only, the studies have shown people are more likely to take action if they know hands-only CPR,” said Brian Dushon, of the American Heart Association.

“It was a little challenging at first. It wasn’t as easy as I thought it was going to be, but once you get the right spot, then you know exactly what you’re doing,” said employee Julie Landis.

Only 46 percent of people who experience an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest get the immediate help they need before paramedics arrive.

Cardiovascular diseases kill nearly one woman every 80 seconds. A recent study found that women are less likely than men to get CPR from a bystander in public places and more likely to die.

Workers at the Gibson Agency also learned that there are two steps that can save a life: Call 911 first, and then push hard and fast.

“We can’t wait five minutes for the ambulance to get there. We need to start intervention immediately,” Dushon said.

There’s an 80 percent likelihood of survival if a person gets help in the first three to five minutes.

“I feel it’s very beneficial for all of our employees to learn more about heart disease, how to prevent it and what to do in case of an emergency,” said Andrew Thompson, vice president of the Gibson Agency.

More than one in three women are living with some form of cardiovascular disease. Each year, about 55,000 more females than males have a stroke.

Go to www.heart.org/handsonlycpr to learn the steps of Hands-Only CPR. To find a CPR course or class near you, go to www.heart.org/cpr.

Heart disease and stroke may be prevented by understanding your family’s health history and making simple lifestyle changes. You can control your risk factors by maintaining a healthy blood pressure and cholesterol, quitting smoking and exercising regularly.

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